Green Building: How Heavy Construction Can Be Eco-Conscious
For hundreds of years, humanity has been more concerned with the progress of industry than the efficiency of the environment. However, since recycling can save businesses money, other environmentally friendly construction practices are becoming increasingly popular across the globe. Additionally, environmentally friendly residential buildings are more in demand now than they were fifty years ago. Moving away from the old construction and demolition business can not only increase a business’ profits, but it can also improve its reputation (or at least increase media coverage).
Misconceptions About Going Green
Although growing in popularity, green practices are often overlooked because they get mislabeled as too expensive or confusing. Many environmentally friendly materials cost similar amounts as the standard materials that heavy construction companies usually invest in. However, there are some green building materials that are somewhat more expensive.
Generally speaking, the expenditures of a business relies on the amount and quality of research that is put into these aspects of a project. The key to successful (and cost-effective) green building is planning.
Environmentally Friendly Construction Equipment
Heavy construction equipment helps expedite the building process. However, diesel emissions are a huge concern for the environment and public health (contributing to concerns like asthma and heart attacks), and the construction business contributes greatly to this pollution (though it should not distract one from acknowledging the dangers of emissions made by the millions of cars driven every day).
The Clean Construction USA program (among others) aims to reduce these emissions by setting new standards for new construction equipment. Unfortunately, the new standards do not apply to pre-existing equipment. Besides, common construction practices are not concerned with ecology as much as expediency, so the way the average person approaches environmental concerns still requires adjustment.
Since it will take many years to completely replace old equipment with more eco-friendly alternatives, cranes, bulldozers, and other construction equipment should be properly maintained and old parts should be upgraded. Companies like American Equipment Inc. can help keep a construction company’s equipment up to date. Cleaner fuels should also be used and unnecessary idling times should be eliminated.
Amidst the misconceptions surrounding green building is the argument that environmentally-safe procedures are not as cost-effective as traditional ones. However, the cost of completing any project relies heavily on those who perform planning for those projects.
Construction equipment should be maintained, or contractors should consider more eco-friendly alternatives (by replacing old equipment with greener models and limiting emissions). Everyone is negatively affected by these old practices, so we are all responsible for removing the carbon footprint left by industrial progress.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.